Explore the most popular walking trails in Underhill State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trail started out in a campground ($4 to park for the day per person). Hiked .6 miles up to the beginning of Sunet Ridge, which soon split into Laura Cowles. Laura Cowles was the most unrelenting trail I've done in Vermont, very steep with very few, if any, flat sections. It was all worth it for the great views coming above the treeline. The summit was covered in a cloud the whole time, but going down Sunset Ridge led to some of the most spectacular views.
My advice to anyone not extremely experienced, pack a LOT of water and be prepared to take most of the day. We did this in about 6 hours.

This is a great 2 hour out and back (plus whatever time you spend at the pond). Lots of dogs on the trail. If you do not use the coordinates from AllTrails to find the trailhead BEWARE - Sterling Pond is NOT in Underhill State Park (even though that’s what this page says!) I used my car’s GPS system since I didn’t have phone reception and I ended up at the Mt. Mansfield trailhead after setting Underhill State Park as my destination (both the Mt Mansfield and the Sterling Pond trailheads are on roads called “Mountain Road” so you might think you’re headed in the right direction but you’re not!). It took 30 extra minutes to drive to the Sterling Pond trailhead. If you’re not using the AllTrails Coordinates to get there, make sure you’re taking the road that takes you past Smuggler’s Notch Ski Area.

We really enjoyed this hike! I told my wife this is a “value hike”- You get spectacular views in a short period of time and distance! Of course there is some serious elevation gain, but it’s worth it. There are some great 360 views from the top. One of my favorite hikes in the eastern US.

Wonderful and challenging hike!

Cool trail, not so hard , great view!!

Going down this trail felt like falling down a mountainside in slow motion. Super slick and straight down, it took us an hour to go just one mile. We had gone up to the Chin via Sunset Ridge and decided to come down on Laura Cowles. If you are trying to reach the Chin I highly recommend taking Sunset Ridge instead, which leaves from the same parking lot (you have to pay $4 per person). That one has views along the hike and makes for a more varied and less grueling excursion.

The hardest I’ve done so far, but absolutely worth every step I took on that steep uphill hike! And of course, what a gorgeous view atop the Chin <3

This trail is as good as it gets! Not for the faint of heart or those that have a fear of heights... Come prepared to be in the elements– sunscreen and sunglasses recommended, as well as a raincoat or windbreaker for the peak. The parking lot is part of Underhill Campground and Park and you need to pay a fee of $4 per person to hike (cc accepted.)

hiking
11 days ago

We did this in full foliage in mid-October. If you start early enough then you would witness two seasons. Fall at the bottom, winter at the top. It was freezing up there but so worth it.

The views!! Standing at the top you can see New York, Canada, and New Hampshire. Once at the top you have 360* views. Trails starts off a little easy but the closer you get to the top the more rocky it is.

This trail was tough- straight up scaling up rocky terrain. Pond was pretty with ducks. Humid.

This is a challenging hike through varied terrain and environments with a tremendous payoff at the summit with beautiful views across the Green Mountains. You climb through a lovely deciduous forest up a meandering trail before a nice walk through the alpine along the ridge with stunning 360 degree views over the Green Mountains of northern Vermont. Truly a must do for any serious hiker looking for a taste of Vermont’s natural beauty.

The rating on this trail is not overblown though and I would recommend it only to very experienced hikers and would caution that even experienced hikers could run into difficulties on the more technical pitches in wet conditions. The vast majority of the trail follows a path of naked granite. With this in mind I would strongly recommend starting the loop on the Maple Ridge side as that half of the loop has the most challenging granite faces to negotiate going up and those are even more challenging when tired and going down. Be aware also of the fairly significant time commitment required. It is only a 15km loop including the out and back to the summit, but it does some time to navigate everything the trail throws at you. This last time it took me 4 hours hiking alone and moving fast. They recommend 6-9 hours at the ranger station.


Enjoy!

Great drive up to the notch. Absolutely beautiful. Then a nice hike up to another beautiful spot!

Great hike! It was so crowded the day we went though. I highly recommend the loop around the lake for a much less crowded walk. The trails are well marked. There were several dogs off leash at the lake if that bothers you, you’ve been warned.

Did this trail yesterday as loop. Laura cowles still rates as one of the toughest I’ve done it is uphill the whole time and doesn’t stop until you reach the top. Great views from the chin as usual. Was a warm and not much wind at all. GPS had this more like 5.4 miles round trip.

A steady uphill, but short and totally worth it for what’s at the top. The pond is beautiful, great for a dip for you or your pup at the end. Dogs can be off-leash. Also if you keep hiking past the pond you get to a chairlift where you get awesome views of Smuggs and beyond down below. This trail also connects to the Long Trail so you could extend it as far as you want to.

Challenging rock terrain over the forehead, a long day. Exhausted and happy.

The hike for me was pretty challenging but definitely worth it to see the pond and then to go a little further past the pond for the view. I’m in my late 50’s and in reasonably good shape and found myself having to stop a few times along the way to catch my breath. I think the length of this hike made it a doable hike for me. Definitely want hiking shoes or good tennis shoes to hike this trail because a lot of the time you are climbing up natural stairs of rocks and tree roots and yes you are climbing most of the way so don’t forget your water!

hiking
29 days ago

Awesome view at the top and a great hike

Very pretty!

A Great morning adventure! A fun amount of climbing and hiking. Recommend to all seeking a high intensity walk through the woods.

Kicked our butts. We took the Eagle cut to Ccc road to Laura Cowls Trail to the top. The LC section was steep and seemingly unending but fun in that it was a challenge — mostly a boulder and rock scramble. It had rained off and on the day before and much of the way was damp. Came down via the sunset ridge trail — easier and drier. Might try it as the way up and back if I do this Trail again. (Hubby says he never wants to do it again)

Super hard, super gorgeous at the top!

hiking
1 month ago

Super pretty! Great way to spend a couple of hours.

went end of may... spectacular view at the chin. worth the long trek and deffinitly worth making the loop. profanity trail was covered in deep snow, so watch out going down after winter time into.

Great hike. You start with stone steps. The pond is beautiful. You can also keep going for a few more minutes to see the top of the ski lift. We aren’t regular hikers and it took us about 2 hours round trip.

backpacking
1 month ago

I would say it’s hard. Mostly because you need to bring a lot of water and marple trail part is not good for children and unexperienced pets.

hiking
1 month ago

A nice, fairly short hike. The views of the pond & swimming in it were highlights, as well as the view of the cliffs from the base. I would recommend tacking something on to the end of it (hike to the ski lifts?) for a nice payoff view.

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